Retail fit out trends have evolved more in the last ten years than the previous three decades combined. A large part of this evolution is a direct result of the changing nature of the retail industry. Technology has enabled people to shop remotely, to rarely need a fixed location to perform their shopping, and to shop and compare with a greater degree of anonymity than before. Attitudes have also shifted. There is more to most retail fit outs than just providing access to a product, it’s about creating an experience and atmosphere that your customers will appreciate.

These changes have culminated to create spaces that are more human focused, sustainable, and technological places. However, the pace of change is relentless, so designing a new retail fit out for 2020 must be more inclusive than what’s currently going on, it must also incorporate what will be happening tomorrow and the day after if it’s going to remain successful.

Build flexibility into your design

While you’ll always want to maintain your brand identity by ensuring you have a consistent feel to your store, building flexibility into your fixtures and fittings will help you at various times throughout the year. A flexible design will allow you to keep your store feeling fresh to returning customers, allow you to showcase different products, and create space if you want to host an event or promotion during the year.

Flexibility can be achieved in many ways. You can use portable displays that can be easily stored or moved. Some displays can even be designed to serve multiple purposes at different times. AN open space is inviting to consumers, so piling in as many products as possible can be off-putting.

Another area it’s important to design to be flexible is your window display. Whether it’s seasonal changes or the launch of new products, changing the external look of your business can catch the attention of passing shoppers.

Use sustainable materials

Sustainability has been a hot topic for a while now, and the conversation is getting louder. Selecting sustainable materials and products is important to a large percentage of consumers. Many retailers are actively joining the circular economy to minimise waste and increase recycling.

A significant sixty two percent of young consumers said they were more likely to purchase goods from a brand that was transparent about their environmental impact, while sixty three percent said they’d stop using brands they knew were acting in a way that’s harmful to the environment.

Using recycled natural materials in your store can help to address sustainability and add a new dimension to your store. Natural materials, such as stone and wood, are more tactile and can change the feel of a space. They can be wonderful additions when maximised with the right lighting.

Take your online presence offline

If you have a successful online presence, make sure any physical shoppers are aware of it. If you have a social media presence with 5-star reviews, share them in your store. If you have products that are highly rated on Amazon, include the rating in the physical store.

People are becoming accustomed to looking at product ratings online for extra security when making a purchase. Use this to your advantage in your physical store by providing them with the same peace of mind. E-commerce is now at the point where it is no longer online shopping, it’s just shopping. Synchronise your physical and online presence to provide a seamless experience for your customers.

Use lighting to set the tone

Good lighting is about much more than simply being well lit. Clever lighting can highlight certain products or areas, create a route around your store, and set the tone for any consumers that visit. Great lighting should never be intrusive. Different types of lighting will be relevant for different businesses, and even different areas within a business.

The best lighting will also take into account the materials that are being used in different areas, as well as other decorative features, such as logos or plants. It can be a good idea to get expert guidance to really make the most of your lighting.

Consider the community you are part of

Building a positive relationship between your business and the local community you serve can help to build loyalty and drive sales. How you achieve this will partly depend on the type of products or services you offer. For example, if you run a restaurant, why not showcase local artists on different nights. This can attract new clientele and provide a boost for a member of the community.

Some businesses sponsor a local children’s sports team or design special offers that reward loyalty. However you achieve it, having a physical presence in a community is one advantage you have over an online presence, so take advantage of it.

Create an environment for every type of customer

Some customers will want to spend some time in your store, weigh up their options, learn more and make an informed purchase. If relevant, why not provide some comfortable seating or a coffee machine for customers that might be there a while.

It’s equally important to consider customers who might be in a rush. Offer a wide choice of payment methods for their convenience. Ensure you accept as many alternative forms of payment as possible, and consider a buy now pay later scheme for bigger purchases.

The ultimate goal

The quality of your products and all the attention to detail won’t matter if your customers don’t have an enjoyable experience when they visit your store. There are various aspects to ensuring this, such as making sure your employees are informed, well trained and friendly. Consider the ways a customer will interact with the environment and products inside your store. Are there any ways you can make the easier or more comfortable for them?

While we can’t help with your employees, we can make sure everything else is perfect for your business. We have decades of experience designing retail spaces for small and large businesses, making the most of the space available to achieve their goals. Get in touch to make your shop fit-out exceed all your expectations.